“Deep curiosity, deep listening, that’s what we have to give to each other. Reading is a form of deep listening, isn’t it? Staying with something, and being affected by it." Maggie Gee
Posts tagged "family"
The best time

The best time

Catriona Ward’s Sundial pushes the boundaries of psychological horror in pleasing ways. The prose is intelligent, highly observed and exquisitely toxic. Nothing is taboo. Children are slapped, dogs shot, the illusion of the perfect family shattered, and sisterly bonds broken. The writing is austere but substantial, the characters extreme but believable, and the settings beautiful...
Ambreen Razia: Mums and daughters

Ambreen Razia: Mums and daughters

Ambreen Razia’s remarkable new play Favour at the Bush Theatre, co-directed by Róisín McBrinn of Clean Break and Sophie Dillon Moniram, plots the troubled return to family life of single mum Aleena (Avita Jay) after a spell in prison. While she was away, her teenage daughter Leila (Ashna Rabheru) was in the care of her...
A party for Hanna

A party for Hanna

The first guests start to arrive. There is not yet any sign of Hanna, who claimed she would be there early. ‘But “early” for Hanna still means late by most people’s standards,’ Kemi says. She doesn’t seem at all worried that Hanna might not turn up, so Alice tries not to be either. She welcomes...
Alex North: An intriguing game

Alex North: An intriguing game

It was just a silly game to start with. Paul never dreamed that Charlie would take it so far. Never thought it would end in murder… Twenty years later, Paul is trying to put his past behind him. But now his mother is dying, and he can’t run any longer. But home isn’t just full...
Rosa Rankin-Gee: Planet Thanet

Rosa Rankin-Gee: Planet Thanet

Rosa Rankin-Gee’s widely acclaimed second novel Dreamland is a thrilling and tender portrait of a disenfranchised community in a near-future Margate ravaged by climate change and economic collapse. With the seaside town’s now-defunct amusement park as a backdrop, she deftly tackles the political and personal landscape of financial disparity, poor housing, extremism, the climate crisis...
Chloe Lane: To any lengths

Chloe Lane: To any lengths

Twenty-six-year-old Erin Moore has just been dumped by her gallery-owner boss after his wife discovered them in a compromising clinch in a store cupboard. She heads north from Auckland to spend the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend at the old family farmstead, where her mother Helen, terminally ill with motor neurone disease, is being cared for...
Ellen Hawley: Hard-earned love

Ellen Hawley: Hard-earned love

As any art director, editor or marketer would insist, a book should always be judged by its cover. What made Other People Manage so pickupable for me, was the immediate association with books by Anne Tyler, Carol Shields, Alice Munro, Suzanne Berne… you get the picture. Physically, and thematically, this book resembles those other rather...
It started with a chair

It started with a chair

I’d been swimming in the Ladies’ Pond on Hampstead Heath and was walking home along the lane, stomping colour back into my toes, when I bumped into a lifeguard friend who I hadn’t seen for a few weeks. When she isn’t at the pond, she’s usually making giant sculptures, weaving willow into stunning shapes. But...
Christina Patterson: Five lives

Christina Patterson: Five lives

When her brother Tom died suddenly at the age of 57, it fell to Christina Patterson, as the last surviving member of the immediate family, to clear out his house. She diligently sorted through the papers Tom had gathered, including all manner of diaries, letters and photographs left by their parents and older sister Caroline....
Precious weirdness

Precious weirdness

Claire Vaye Watkins’ I Love You, But I’ve Chosen Darkness, is an immersive, transgressive and darkly funny work of autofiction. Its narrator, a writer named Claire Vaye Watkins, leaves her husband and newborn baby daughter to go on a book tour, which transforms into a wild romp away from the confines of marriage and motherhood,...